Top Sex Tips for Women’s Orgasms: Masturbate, Vibrate, Communicate


Declaration of Sexual Pleasure | Source: WAS

September 4 was World Sexual Health Day. This year’s theme was "Sexual Pleasure in Times of COVID-19." Assuming we all know what COVID-19, let's take a deeper diver into what sexual pleasure is. The World Congress of Sexual Health (WAS) defined sexual pleasure as "... the physical and/or psychological satisfaction and enjoyment derived from shared or solitary erotic experiences, including thoughts, fantasies, dreams, emotions, and feelings." WAS also declared that "access to sources of sexual pleasure is part of human experience and subjective well-being" and "sexual pleasure is a fundamental part of sexual rights as a matter of human rights." In short, sexual pleasure isn't frivolous. It's an essential aspect of well-being and a fundamental human right.



Orgasm Gap | Source: Laurie Mintz/TEDx


Still, research tells us that cisgender women (people born with a vagina and identify as a woman) are having much less sexual pleasure than cisgender men (people born with a penis and identify as a man). As one example, in one study, 39% of the women versus 91% of the men said they always or usually always orgasm during a sexual encounter. I detail the most important cause of the orgasm gap in my TEDxUF talk and in my book, Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How To Get It: Our cultural overvaluing of intercourse (men's most reliable route to orgasm) and our cultural devaluing of clitoral stimulation (women's most reliable route to orgasm). While including the concept of pleasure in sex education (as is argued for in the Declaration of Sexual Pleasure) and advocating for more realistic media images of women's pleasure (as is being done by The Clit Test) are ways to close the orgasm gap culturally, if you have a vulva, below you will find three science-based tips to close the orgasm gap and empower you to orgasm in your own life.


Masturbate: A great deal of research on effective strategies for helping women learn to orgasm points to "directed masturbation" as the strategy with the most scientific support. Directed masturbation is simply giving sex therapy clients the “homework” of pleasuring themselves. For those who are hesitant to dive in (no pun intended), this can occur gradually, with steps to take prior to masturbation including: 1) seeing images of other women's genitals (for example at the site gynodiversity); 2) learning about how other women masturbate (from the great website, omgyes.com for example); and 3) looking at one's own genitals with a mirror. All of these initial steps are followed by increasingly intense solo-stimulation, with one's hands, lubricants (because female genitals are not meant to be touched dry), and vibrators.



Magic Wand | Source: Adadem/Shutterstock


Vibrate: Many women don’t orgasm until using a clitoral vibrator. Clitorises respond exquisitely well to the sensation of vibration. And, the research is extremely clear. Women who use vibrators have easier and more frequent orgasms and a male partner's acceptance of his female partner's vibrator use is highly related to her sexual satisfaction.


Communicate: Masturbating -- with or without a vibrator -- can be done alone, and reaching orgasm alone is the first step to learning to orgasm with a partner. However, transferring one's self-pleasure to partner-pleasure requires good communication. As I say in both my books, "Communication is the bedrock to make your bed rock!" The research is clear on this point: Good sexual communication is highly related to sexual satisfaction and orgasm rate. This finding goes hand-in-hand (pun intended) with the finding that a man's acceptance of his partner's vibrator use is related to her satisfaction. A male partner can't start the process of acceptance until his female partner communicates her needs to him. And, while many women say they feel pushy telling partners (especially new partners) about their need for clitoral stimulation, many men say they are turned on by such instructions. In short, to orgasm alone you just need your hands and a vibrator, yet to orgasm with a partner you will need to tell your partner what you like and want. What every woman needs to orgasm is a bit different and even what one woman needs can vary from encounter to encounter, so it's critical to be able to communicate your needs sexually. As I say in Becoming Cliterate, the most essential step to reaching orgasm with a partner is getting the same type of stimulation you get alone. And, the way to get that is to communicate!


In short, September 4 was World Sexual Health Day and for 2020, the goal was to bring sexual pleasure to the forefront, even and perhaps especially, in these trying times. Sexual pleasure is the gift that keeps giving (and coming, pun intended). Get yours today by masturbating, vibrating, and communicating and be sure to throw in some lube too for good measure or rather, good pleasure.

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